Grave Board

Grave Board

A.D. 1300-1500
Culture
Inca or Ica
Locale
Ica Valley
Country
Peru
board, grave
Carved and painted wood
Gift of Frederick and Jan Mayer
1971.363
. Grave Board. A.D. 1300-1500. Carved and painted wood. Gift of Frederick and Jan Mayer. 1971.363.
This object is currently on view
Dimensions
height: 76.75 in, 194.9450 cm; width: 9.5 in, 24.1300 cm; depth: 1.5 in, 3.8100 cm
Department
Mayer Center, Art of the Ancient Americas
Collection
Art of the Ancient Americas

Grave Board
About A.D. 1300–1500
Peru, Ica Valley
Carved and painted wood
Gift of Frederick and Jan Mayer, 1971.363

Large, heavy wooden boards with decorative carving were often placed in the tombs of Ica Valley nobility during the period when the region was ruled by the Inca Empire. On this example, the lowermost pattern resembles the decorative waistband of an Inca tapestry tunic, while the bird patterns above resemble local Ica-style textile designs. A row of three-dimensional human figures wearing semicircular headdresses surmounts the board. While the grave boards resemble dagger-boards (which help prevent boats from drifting off-course), their form is also similar to agricultural digging tools. The fragility of the decorated upper portions suggests that this board served a symbolic, rather than a practical function.

 

Known Provenance
Provenance research is on-going at the Denver Art Museum. Please e-mail provenance@denverartmuseum.org, if you have questions, or if you have additional information to share with us.